Sample Optional Essay

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July 13, 2016

3 Ways to Offset a Low GPA When Applying to Business School

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News. When your business school application lands on an MBA admissions committee member’s desk, the member takes a hard look at two important metrics: … →

Posted inApplication Tips|Taggedapplication tips, GMAT or GRE, GMAT score, low GPA, low quant applicant, optional essay, pre-MBA work experience, US News Strictly Business

October 7, 2015

Always Address These 4 Areas in the Optional MBA Essay

The Tuck: 360 MBA Blog at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business has some timely advice on how to address all of those tricky situations in your b-school application you may wish you could just sweep under … →

Posted inGeneral|Taggedacademic weaknesses, career changes, choosing recommenders, Dartmouth MBA, employment gaps, MBA essay advice, optional essay, Tuck School of Business

January 13, 2010

Owning Up to Mistakes on Your Application

Explaining past transgressions, academic or otherwise, on your B-school application may be awkward and uncomfortable, but being up front about your mistakes can definitely go a long way toward minimizing the damage and maintaining  your … →

Posted inGeneral|Taggedadvice, application, mistakes, optional essay

November 4, 2008

Tuesday Tips – Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School Essay Tips

Washington University’s Olin Business School focuses on evaluating candidates on both past evidence of achievement in leadership and teamwork across work and extracurricular activities, as well as future potential. Another key factor is a diversity … →

Posted inApplication Tips|Taggedapplication tips, career goals essay, essay tips, Olin Business School, optional essay

October 7, 2008

Tuesday Tips – Kelley School of Business

The Kelley School of Business at the University of Indiana features a brief core and a significant amount of time where you can design your own educational experience. Continuing to rise in prominence, the program … →

Posted inApplication Tips, Indiana Kelley Advice|TaggedApplication Strategy, Application Tips, career goals, essay tips, Indiana University, Kelley MBA, optional essay

Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere

I request the admissions committee to consider the following factors while considering the gap between Secondary Schooling and the undergraduate degree (B.B.A):

Immediately after completing my Secondary Schooling, I had enrolled for an undergraduate degree in Electronics Engineering with the University of Mumbai in August 1996.  Within the first four semesters, I realized that while being an engineer is a prestigious career path – my passion definitely lay elsewhere. At the age of 18, the choice was primarily influenced by peer pressure. Halfway through the course, I dropped out of the program in October 1998. Such a move is highly unconventional in India and resulted in significant disapproval from all fronts.

The early week of December 1998 was a fissure in my career that had so far been a smooth ride.  The fact that I had dropped out halfway through engineering represented an entire two years of “downtime”. It took me an entire month to come out of the situation and gather courage: If I was not the best at engineering, I had to be best at something – and I just had to find it. The problem had opened this door of opportunity.

By January 1999, I was running a small-scale transport business with seven auto-rickshaws (1).  Each day in the business taught me powerful lessons in business and man management. After 18 profitable months, I sold all seven rickshaws in 2000 and made a career decision to join the ABC. I wanted to experience working in established companies and learning about “big-business.”

In India, it’s extremely difficult to get a job without a bachelor’s degree. This really hit home on two occasions – in 2000 while looking for my first job and in 2002 after ABC, my then employer, closed down and I was jobless in a city that I was not too familiar with. After losing multiple opportunities that I was clearly suitable for, I decided to enroll in a distance learning B.B.A program in July 2002 while continuing to look for work. I achieved a breakthrough when I was hired at ABC and I have regularly crossed growth benchmarks ever since.

In retrospect, I realize that my interruption in education could have been averted by a more rational approach. I also realize the importance of quality higher education – the potential reflected so far in my career graph can only be fully realized with a thorough grounding in the principles of management. However, the consequences of my choices did teach me extremely valuable life-lessons of handling adversity, having faith in my abilities and judgment and being resilient.

Note : (1) An auto rickshaw is a motor vehicle that is one of the chief modes of local transport in India. It is a   motorized version of the traditional rickshaw or velotaxi, a small three-wheeled cart driven by a person.

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